Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Dios Momo (2006)

Having a chance to see this film for free, and seeing that it was rated 7.1/10 on the internet movie database, I went for it (although now I see it was only rated by 10 people).

A quick summary: "An 11-year-old street boy, OBDULIO, who sells newspapers for a living but cannot read or write, finds a magical "Maestro" in the night watchman of the newspaper's office. OBDULIO's charismatic mentor not only introduces him to the world of literacy but also teaches him the real meaning of life through the lyrics of the "Murgas"(Carnival Pierrots) during the mythical nights of the irreverant and provocative Urugauyan Carnival" (see

To be honest, the plot made the movie sound very interesting, but while watching the film I felt like I was missing a lot because it just didn't seem very clear. Probably, to truly understand this film, one needs to know a lot more in-depth about the whole carnival culture of Uruguay. There is some sort of mysticism imbedded in this celebration, a ritual, something spiritual, that I as a non-Uruguayan could not understand. The same goes for the 'Murgas' sung during the film, I just couldn't quite grasp them.

If you are from Uruguay or have traveled/lived there, I do believe this is a film you should see, it is interesting even for an 'outsider' who doesn't understand every part of the film like myself. And the film is able to give a sort of glimpse into aspects of the Uruguayan culture and into the life of young working children.

The end of this film was also very unclear to me, as it seems that Obdulio leaves his grandmother? And then at the end of the film it appear that it is "dedicated to the the missing children and the children who are coming to save the world," which completely confused me. Indeed, the film may have benifited from a bit more focus/clarity, although I guess the mysticism was supposed to add to the surrealistic feeling of the film. My recommendation, do watch this film as it is interesting (especially the teaching methods of the night watchman, very clever), but only after understanding a bit more about Uruguayan (carnival) culture .

1 comment:

Brandee said...

Hi! I just saw the film and wanted to comment on your interpretation of the end. My interpretation is that he wasn't leaving his grandmother. When she looked under the bed, I think she found a school uniform that he had bought for himself. He wanted to tell her that he had decided to go to school, I think.

And at the very end when he climbs on a wagon, I don't think he's leaving. It seemed to me like a custom the day after carnaval ends to say "good-bye" to the murgas, but that the kids are just riding around the city.

And that closing quote? I think it might be slightly mistranslated into English. In Spanish it says "A los niños que faltan" and they translated "faltar" as missing, but it can also mean "lacking." So I think maybe it means children who are wanting/lacking for something. I don't think, at least, that it's about missing children :)